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After the riot in the Capitol: Investigators scour social media

After the storming of the US parliament, the investigations against the rioters are in full swing: According to prosecutors, hundreds of experts are looking for suspects on social media. 68 people have already been arrested.

Acting US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen has promised rigorous prosecution of the Capitol rioters. His department will ensure that those responsible for the “attack” on the government and the rule of law in the country are held accountable for their actions. The US federal attorney’s office announced that criminal charges had already been filed in 55 cases. Hundreds of Justice Department employees are currently scouring social media for more suspects.

Angry supporters of the elected US President Donald Trump marched in front of the seat of the US Congress, the Capitol, on Wednesday and stormed the sparsely secured parliament building. The mayor of the US capital Washington, Muriel Bowser, said it was a clear case of “domestic terrorism”. The perpetrators would have to be arrested and brought to justice.

68 people arrested

Law enforcement investigators worked through the night to gather evidence and identify perpetrators. According to the Washington police, 68 people were arrested during the course of yesterday evening. The FBI also set up a website for references to participants in the storm on the Capitol. The US Federal Police offer the possibility to upload videos and photos of crimes there.

In addition, the investigators can already fall back on a wealth of incriminating material firsthand: Trump supporters had published numerous photos and videos on social media. Since they mostly did not wear masks despite the corona risk, many faces can be clearly recognized. The attackers were filmed, among other things, as they walk through the halls of the Capitol and break into the boardroom and offices of MPs.

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The day the Washington Capitol was stormed

January 6th begins with a traditional session: Both chambers of the US Congress meet to confirm Joe Biden’s election victory. Some Republicans have announced their resistance, but it is generally expected that it will end up being confirmed. | Image source: AP

Police officers were “actively attacked”

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said the siege of the convention building was “criminal, rampaging behavior”. The mob used metal bars, chemical irritants and other weapons against the emergency services when they stormed the building. The protesters had “actively attacked” police officers and were determined to break into the Capitol with great damage.

More than 50 Capitol and Washington police officers were injured during the rioting, and several congressional security forces were hospitalized with serious injuries, Sund said. He defended the police against criticism that they had not stopped the riot. His agency had a “robust plan” to respond to the expected peaceful protests. But what happened on Wednesday was criminal behavior.

6,200 national guards ordered

The US Department of Defense has meanwhile ordered around 6,200 National Guards to assist the local police. Executive Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller activated National Guardsmen from Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland for up to 30 days. From Pentagon circles it was said that the US Capitol and the surrounding area should be protected until after the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. The National Guards are due to arrive in Washington in the coming days.


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